In some cases, your r esearch project may be relatively short and you may not be able to write much of your thesis before completing the project. However in other instances your project may be relatively long, especially if you are doing a PhD, and you will need to keep writing the thesis while conducting your research. But regardless of the nature of your research project and of the scope of your course, you should start writing your thesis or at least some of its sections as early as possible, and there are a number of good reasons for this: How To Improve Your Writing Skills 1.
The best way of improving your writing skills is to finish the first draft of your thesis as early as possible and send it to your supervisor for revision. Your supervisor will correct your draft and point out any writing errors. If you are not a native English speaker, it may be useful to ask your English friends to read a part of your thesis and warn you about any recurring writing mistakes.
Read our section on English language support for more advice. Most universities have writing centres that offer writing courses and other kinds of support for postgraduate students.
Please note that the formal requirements vary between different disciplines, and make sure to confer the guidelines that apply in your field. For the contents in the various sections you may also confer Organising your writing. Summary and foreword Most readers will turn first to the summary or abstract. The summary should highlight the main points from your work, especially the thesis statement, methods if applicable , findings and conclusion.
However, the summary does not need to cover every aspect of your work. The main objective is to give the reader a good idea of what the thesis is about. The summary should be completed towards the end; when you are able to overview your project as a whole. It is nevertheless a good idea to work on a draft continuously. Writing a good summary can be difficult, since it should only include the most important points of your work.
But this is also why working on your summary can be so useful — it forces you to identify the key elements of your writing project. There are usually no formal requirements for forewords, but it is common practice to thank your supervisors, informants, and others who have helped and supported you. If you have received any grants or research residencies, you should also acknowledge these.
Note: Shorter assignments do not require abstracts and forewords. It is recommended to rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done, to ensure that it connects well with your conclusion. Tip: For a nice, stylistic twist you can reuse a theme from the introduction in your conclusion.
For example, you might present a particular scenario in one way in your introduction, and then return to it in your conclusion from a different — richer or contrasting — perspective. The introduction should include: The background for your choice of theme A discussion of your research question or thesis statement A schematic outline of the remainder of your thesis The sections below discuss each of these elements in turn.
It should make a good impression and convince the reader why the theme is important and your approach relevant. Even so, it should be no longer than necessary. What is considered a relevant background depends on your field and its traditions. Background information might be historical in nature, or it might refer to previous research or practical considerations. You can also focus on a specific text, thinker or problem. Academic writing often means having a discussion with yourself or some imagined opponent.
To open your discussion, there are several options available. In the remainder of your thesis, this kind of information should be avoided, particularly if it has not been collected systematically. Observe to what extent these different openings inspire you, and choose the approach most appropriate to your topic. For example, do you want to spur emotions, or remain as neutral as possible?
How important is the historical background? The exercise can be done in small groups or pairs. Discuss what makes an opening paragraph successful or not. How does your opening paragraph shed light on what is to follow?
Narrowing the scope of your thesis can be time-consuming. Paradoxically, the more you limit the scope, the more interesting it becomes. This is because a narrower scope lets you clarify the problem and study it at greater depth, whereas very broad research questions only allow a superficial treatment.
The research question can be formulated as one main question with a few more specific sub-questions or in the form of a hypothesis that will be tested. Your research question will be your guide as your writing proceeds. If you are working independently, you are also free to modify it as you go along. How do you know that you have drafted a research question? Most importantly, a research question is something that can be answered.
If not, you have probably come up with a theme or field, not a question. Others will open up for discussions and different interpretations. Studying causality is methodologically demanding. For example, if my topic includes the constructs of emotional intelligence, sexes, and age, I need to delineate these for the reader.
If I study emotional intelligence, I might be referring to EI as perceiving emotions, using emotions, understanding emotions, and managing emotions, or I might be operationalizing emotional intelligence as self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation. The point is that your thesis topic needs to clearly tell the reader what you will be studying, and how you will operationalize or measure the constructs. Thesis Consulting Conducting the research to write a thesis is a novel task for graduate students.
The good news is that the rigor to write a thesis has a much lower bar than writing a dissertation. So what is the task at hand? Essentially, look at previous research and add a twist to it. Even with a body of work in front of you, the literature review, methodology and research design, analysis of the results and discussion chapter can be challenging.
Please note that the formal requirements vary between different disciplines, and make sure to confer the guidelines that apply in your field. Studying causality is methodologically demanding. Schedule Your Consultation Schedule a time to meet confidentially with Dr. Your supervisor will correct your draft and point out any writing errors.
An excellent thesis distinguishes itself by defending — and at the same time criticising — the choices made. Having difficulty? For example, you could frame the issues within a wider context. How much time and space should you devote to the theory chapter? All the themes and issues that you raised in your introduction must be referred to again in one way or another. For the contents in the various sections you may also confer Organising your writing.
However in other instances your project may be relatively long, especially if you are doing a PhD, and you will need to keep writing the thesis while conducting your research.
However, the summary does not need to cover every aspect of your work. There are usually no formal requirements for forewords, but it is common practice to thank your supervisors, informants, and others who have helped and supported you. It is recommended to rewrite the introduction one last time when the writing is done, to ensure that it connects well with your conclusion.
In other words, you investigate a phenomenon from several different perspectives. When the figure returns in the final section, it will have taken on a new and richer meaning through the insights you have encountered, created in the process of writing. Observe to what extent these different openings inspire you, and choose the approach most appropriate to your topic.